2014 has a noticeable and significant improvement over the 2011-2013. Especially the 2011/2012.
Inflation with the new valve is as easy as it gets.
Battens are not really that big a issue for pack up.
Fifth line, agree with that. But there are advantages.
So how do you know it's just marketing? Or are you just marketing your own idea by looking at kites on the water around your local?
I love the rebel,
I love the fifth line, and have been using four and five line kites together for almost a decade on water and snow, and never consider the fifth line a issue, I have had it wrap, but I always just go to the safety and it unwraps and I relaunch. On snow the Rebel is unreal for the year round kiter, and the fifth line keeps you out of trouble on the land and while self launching, It is exceptionally safe for self landings, and then there is the feel.... you can not beat the feel the direct connect system has.
I love the new valve, you can roll to the center if you just cant figure out how to fold the fabric to the wing tip.
I love the battens, and how they work, ( I hate the extras poke through the bag if you do not tape the ends). I don't mid be cautious when packing them.
I love that I need to use skill and roll my kite up with loving care to insure it fits neatly in the bag. There are kiters I know that pack in a hurry and have a big mess. The rebel may not be for that kiter, there are other kites in Norths line that pack easier, so the option is there from the brand, you make a commitment to the rebel to enjoy its character this is true.
This is the common review of the rebel ."I love them. But"...The first part of the statement tells you how good the kite is, the packing, fithline, and batten complaints are part of the joy of owning a rebel, and some don't mind having to work a little differently to fly and use the rebel once it is in the air, Hell people put up with foil kite characteristics? My Ducati takes more time and effort to maintain and operate then my Yamaha, but the reward of ownership is huge with one and ..ok with the other.
Heh, El Presidente, Not a single RPM on my beaches here in Utah, America, there was when they came out but not anymore, lots of rebels, though, I am not smack talking just sharing this info. I enjoy the RPM, not discounting it, just saying there are not any around my 8 or 9 launches.
I have also flown the 2011,2012,2013,2014 rebel and they all feel similar but are very different in build, and characteristics when you fly them back to back, they just keep getting stronger and more durable with little tweaks, and yes they are pricey, but the resale is great so you pay extra but you sell for more, in my experience.
There are 2011 north kites locally that look brand new and still fly better then many of the 2014 kites from other brands. Saying the kite hasn't need much change since 2011 to remain competitive is a how I look at it.